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[ Also see Authorship Books Borrowing Criticism Dishonesty Imitation Journalism Literature Originality Poetry Quotations Shakespeare Thieving Writing ]

When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre,
  He'd 'eard men sing by land an' sea;
    An' what he thought 'e might require,
      'E went an' took--the same as me.
      - Rudyard Kipling,
        Barrack-Room Ballads--Introduction

Borrowed garments never keep one warm.
      - James Russell Lowell

My books need no one to accuse or judge you: the page which is yours stands up against you and says, "You are a thief."
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. I, ep. 53)

Why, simpleton, do you mix your verses with mine? What have you to do, foolish man, with writings that convict you of theft? Why do you attempt to associate foxes with lions, and make owls pass for eagles? Though you had one of Ladas's legs, you would not be able, blockhead, to run with the other leg of wood.
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. X, ep. 100)

For such kind of borrowing as this, if it be not bettered by the borrower, among good authors is accounted plagiary.
      - John Milton, Iconoclastes (XXIII)

Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
      - Wilson Mizner

I recover my property wherever I find it.
  [Fr., Je reprends mon bien ou je le trouve.]
      - Moliere (pseudonym of Jean Baptiste Poquelin),
        Les Fourberies de Scapin,
        Cyrano de Bergerac used a scene in "Pedant Joue" communicated to him by Moliere

The bees pillage the flowers here and there but they make honey of them which is all their own; it is no longer thyme or marjolaine: so the pieces borrowed from others he will transform and mix up into a work all his own.
  [Fr., Les abeilles pillotent deca dela les fleurs; mais elles en font aprez le miel, qui est tout leur; ce n'est plus thym, ny marjolaine: ainsi les pieces empruntees d'aultruy, il les transformera et confondra pour en faire un ouvrage tout sien.]
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essays
         (bk. I, ch. XXV)

Amongst so many borrowed things, am glad if I can steal one, disguising and altering it for some new service.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne,
        Essays--Of Physiognomy

He liked those literary cooks
  Who skim the cream of others' books;
    And ruin half an author's graces
      By plucking bon-mots from their places.
      - Hannah More, Florio, the Bas Blue

Take the whole range of imaginative literature, and we are all wholesale borrowers. In every matter that relates to invention, to use, or beauty or form, we are borrowers.
      - Wendell Phillips, Lecture--The Lost Arts

Their writings are thoughts stolen from us by anticipation.
  [Fr., Leurs ecrits sont des vois qu'ils nous ont faite d'avance.]
      - Alexis Piron, La Metromanie (III, 6)

Next, o'er his books is eyes began to roll,
  In pleasing memory of all he stole,
    How here he sipp'd, how there he plunder'd snug,
      And suck'd all o'er, like an industrious bug.
      - Alexander Pope

With him most authors steal their works, or buy;
  Garth did not write his own Dispensary.
      - Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
         (l. 618)

Next o'er his books his eyes began to roll,
  In pleasing memory of all he stole;
    How here he sipp'd, how there he plunder'd snug,
      And suck'd all o'er like an industrious bug.
      - Alexander Pope, The Dunciad
         (bk. I, l. 127)

All men who have sense and feeling are being continually helped; they are taught by every person they meet, and enriched by everything that falls in their way. The greatest, is he who has been oftenest aided. Originality is the observing eye.
      - John Ruskin

To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences.
      - William Shakespeare

The seed ye sow, another reaps;
  The wealth ye find, another keeps;
    The robes ye weave, another wears;
      The arms ye forge, another bears.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley,
        Song--To Men of England

Steal!--to be sure they may; and egad, serve your best thoughts as gypsies do stolen children, disfigure them to make 'em pass for their own.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Critic
         (act I, sc. 1)

As monarchs have a right to call in the specie of a state, and raise its value, by their own impression; so are there certain prerogative geniuses, who are above plagiaries, who cannot be said to steal, but, from their improvement of a thought, rather to borrow it, and repay the commonwealth of letters with interest again; and may wore properly be said to adopt, than to kidnap a sentiment, by leaving it heir to their own fame.
      - Laurence Sterne

Fine words! I wonder where you stole 'em.
  [Lat., Libertas et natale solum.]
      - Jonathan Swift,
        said about Chief Justice Whitshed's motto for his coach

Nothing is said nowadays that has not been said before.
  [Lat., Nullum est jam dictum quod non dictum sit prius.]
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer),
        Eunuchus--Prologue (XLI),
        as quoted by Donatus

Call them if you please bookmakers, not authors; range them rather among second-hand dealers than plagiarists.
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        Claudius Donatus,
        Delphi edition of "Life of Vergil"

I wrote these lines; another wears the bays:
  Thus you for others build your nests, O birds:
    Thus you for others bear your fleece, O sheep:
      Thus you for others honey make, O bees:
        Thus you for others drag the plough, O kine.
          [Lat., Hos ego versiculos feci, tulit alter honores
            Sic vos non vobis nidificatis aves:
              Sic vos non vobis vellera fertis oves:
                Sic vos non vobis mellificatis apes:
                  Sic vos non vobis fertis aratra boves.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        Claudius Donatus
         (Delphin ed. of "Life of Vergil", 1830, p. 17)

All the makers of dictionaries, all compilers who do nothing else than repeat backwards and forwards the opinions, the errors, the impostures, and the truths already printed, we may term plagiarists; but honest plagiarists, who arrogate not the merit of invention.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire)

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